Behold The God Of Covenants

Behold The God Of Covenants

Genesis 9:8-11 NKJV  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:  (9)  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,  (10)  and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.  (11)  Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 

  • This morning I decided… well I believe the Lord decided… to slow things down a bit. 
  • I easily could preach on verses 8-17… go into the Rainbow and the fact that God constantly remembers his promises over us… but I think the Holy Spirit wants us to focus on just one single word from this passage that I just read. 
  • Before we get to the rainbow, before we get into the specifics of this covenant… I think God would have us linger here a little while and focus on just one word. 
  • But before I talk about this word, let’s understand the context of the verses we have just read. 
  • If you haven’t missed a sermon, then you know the context pretty well. But if you are new to CLC, first of all, welcome, and second, let me get you caught up. 
  • We have been preaching through Genesis for just over six months now and we have seen a lot of things happen. 
  • Most notably we read about the sin that spread throughout the world as Adam and Eve’s offspring populated it. 
  • A few generations after Adam and Eve, things got bad. 
  • There was murder, sexual sin, demonic practices, all sorts of corruption and evil. 
  • And this corruption had filled the earth, everyone was partaking in the evil… well, everyone except for one man and his family… that man of course was Noah. 
  • So God had Noah build and Ark, a giant boat, and then miraculously God had between two and 14 of every kind of animal board the boat, along with Noah, his sons, and their wives. 
  • God then floods the earth and kills every living thing on the earth, except for those and the ark… 
  • Now we get to the scriptures we read this morning. Noah gets off the Ark and God speaks these words to Him. Before we read those words again, let’s pray… 
  • So Noah get’s off the boat, he worships and sacrifices to God, then God blesses him and says “Be fruitful and multiply”… after that blessing, we get to todays passage. 

Genesis 9:8-9 NKJV  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:  (9)  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 

  • Now before I want to get to our focal point this morning we need to just understand one more thing… what exactly is a covenant? 
  • God says “I will establish my covenant with you…” well WHAT is a covenant? 
  • If I asked you this question, some of you might answer “It is a promise” 
  • And that is true… but it is more than that. 
  • Maybe if I asked you “what is a covenant” you would answer “It is a contract”… 
  • Yeah, that’s a better answer… but it is more than that as well. 
  • But if you answered “A Covenant is a blood pact”… well now you are on to something… 
  • You see the Hebrew word for covenant is derived from the Hebrew word for Cut… and it all comes down to how you make this pact… this contract… this promise. 
  • In Ancient times you would make a covenant with someone in a very un-PC way… by sharing blood. 
  • What people would do, if they were to go into covenant with one another, is they would CUT the tops of their wrists and hold the wounds together… That is why the word covenant comes from the word cut. 
  • This of course would create scars that would represent that covenant on your arm. 
  • Now, when you entered into covenant with someone, what you had became theirs and what they had became yours. 
  • Your Goat is now OUR goat. My horse is now OUR horse. Your soldiers are now my soldiers. My enemies are now OUR enemies. 
  • In fact, some theorize that the tradition of rolling up your sleeves before a fight came from this practice of wrist cutting… 
  • Because if you are about to get into a fight with someone and you roll up your sleeves and they roll up their sleaves and you have 8 scars and they have two… well you can expect 8 dudes to show up with their soldiers to fight on my side, and only tow to show up on your side… you may want to reconsider… 
  • These ancient covenants were more binding than promises or even contracts… there was no legal way out of these covenants other than the death of one of the parties… 
  • In todays society marriage is probably the closest thing we have to a covenant… two people become one… and as I say in all my marriage ceremonies, death or rapture is the only honorable end to a marriage. 
  • For a marriage to end other than in death, there must be sin involved… maybe not from both parties… but there must be sin involved. 
  • A sin free marriage is a marriage till death due we part. 
  • And so it is with covenants. 
  • Now we see all sorts of different kinds of covenants in scripture, but the one we are talking about today is a covenant between God and mankind. 

Genesis 9:9-11 NKJV  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,  (10)  and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.  (11)  Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 

Details of the Genesis 9 Covenant: 

Verse 9: The Covenant is between God and mankind. 
Verse 10: The Covenant includes all living creatures. 
Verse 11: The Covenant promises God will never kill all life through a flood again. 

  • So it is a pretty simple covenant, God enters into covenant with all living creatures and promises never to kill them all again. Now next week we will talk more about the wonders and love displayed in this covenant, but for now we can agree that it is pretty awesome that God hasn’t killed us all yet, right? 
  • I mean every time I watch the news I am like “Thank God for the covenant with Noah! Because we deserve some wrath!” 
  • But again, that is for next week, for the remainder of the sermon this week I just want us to focus on this one word… BEHOLD. 

Genesis 9:9 NKJV  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 

  • Behold! That is the focus of the message today. BEHOLD. 
  • Behold the God of Covenants 
  • My first point this morning is “What are you beholding”. 

Point One – God’s Covenants Are Worthy of Beholding 

Genesis 9:8-9 NKJV  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:  (9)  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 

  • There is a command, there is an action step in this verse. 
  • Noah was called to do something in this verse. 
  • And I believe WE as Christians today, reading the word of God, we are called to do something in this verse. 
  • Noah was called to BEHOLD. 
  • We are called to BEHOLD. 
  • YOU are called to BEHOLD! 
  • So then the question must be asked, are you beholding the covenants of God? Do you think of God’s Covenants as worthy of Beholding… 
  • Are you looking at them in wonder, gazing upon them in gratitude,  are you cherishing them and storing them up in your heart? 
  • Are You Beholding the Covenants of God… are they worthy of Beholding? 
  • Well here we are called to behold that God makes covenants. 
  • You see the fact that the God of the universe, the God of ultimate power… the fact that God would make a covenant with man… that is a spectacle worth beholding. 
  • Consider for just a moment… ponder just how wonderful, just how marvelous… just how… LUDACRIS it is that God would enter into covenant with us. 
  • That the all powerful, all knowing, king of the universe… that He would want to enter into covenant with weak, pitiful, stupid, sinful, pathetic, punny little humans… and not just us, but with all the animals too! 
  • Have you ever thought about the extraordinarily marvelous wonder of the God of Everything entering into covenant with me… a man of nothing. 
  • You see, even in the most mismatched of covenants, both sides would still gain something… 
  • For example, if Ryan and I were to cut our wrists and share blood and enter into covenant with each other… it would be fairly lopsided. 
  • My house would be his house… But he doesn’t have a house to give me… 
  • My food would be his food… But he doesn’t have a fridge to open up to me. 
  • My internet would be his internet… He has never opened up a hotspot for me to share… 
  • It would be a lopsided covenant… 
  • But at least I would get to take his truck and use it on dump runs… his truck becomes my truck. 
  • And at least I can pawn off the youth group to him so I don’t have to worry about it on Wednesdays… My ministry becomes his ministry. 
  • And that friends, is the covenant we have with each other… sans the sharing blood thing… because eww… 
  • That is something worth beholding. 
  • Now, there are five key covenants God made with man, each worthy to behold. Y’all ready, here are the five main covenants God makes with man: 

Five Major Covenants 

  1. Noahic Covenant: God won’t destroy the earth with water. (Gen 9) 
  1. Abrahamic Covenant: God will set aside a people for Himself. (Gen 12-17) 
  1. Mosaic Covenant: God blesses those who follow His law. (Ex 31, Duet 28) 
  1. Davidic Covenant: An eternal Kingdom and King is promised to man. (2 Sam 7) 
  1. The New Covenant: The Law of God will be written on our hearts and their sins will be forgiven (Jer 31) 
  • Do you see how those covenants build on themselves? 
  • God won’t kill all of mankind… ok, that in itself is something to behold. 
  • God sets us apart as a people for Himself… well we can’t be set apart as a people if we are all dead… thank God for the first covenant. 
  • God blesses His people who follow His law… He has to have people in order to bless them. 
  • God sets up a kingdom and promises a king… everyone knows a kingdom without laws will crumble. 
  • And finally the law of God, established in Moses covenant and enthroned in David’s covenant… that law will be eternally written on our hearts and our sins will be eternally forgiven. 

Jeremiah 31:31-34 NKJV  “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—  (32)  not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.  (33)  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  (34)  No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” 

Luke 22:20 NKJV  Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. 

Hebrews 9:15 NKJV  And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 

  • What does God gain from these covenants? 
  • Why make these covenants… why would God restrain Himself… 
  • What does God gain by promises not to flood the earth? 
  • What does God gain by setting aside a people from himself? 
  • What does God gain by blessing people who follow His law? 
  • What does God gain by setting up an eternal Kingdom and giving us a King? 
  • What does God gain by dying on the cross for us so we can be made new, with eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, and His law written on His heart? 
  • God doesn’t gain power, God does gain fame, God does gain wealth. 
  • In fact, through all of this, God is robbed, mocked, ridiculed, and betrayed… 

1 John 3:1a NKJV  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!  

  • What does God gain from going into covenant with Noah, with Abraham, with Moses, with David… what does God gain by the blood Covenant of the cross… sending His son to seal the covenant? 
  • He did all of this not for wealth, not for power, not for influence… but for YOU… because He loves YOU! 
  • He did this out of LOVE. 

Point Two – Don’t Behold the Wrong Things 

Genesis 9:8-11 NKJV  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying:  (9)  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,  (10)  and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.  (11)  Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 

Genesis 9:9 NKJV  “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 

  • Noah steps off the Ark, makes a sacrifices to God and God tells Noah “Behold” 
  • And think of all the things that Noah could behold in that moment. 
  • The earth is fresh and new… the sky is beautiful… the animals are begging to spread out and reproduce. 
  • But Noah was told not to behold any of that, he was told to behold the God of Covenants… the very fact that God would come down and make a covenant with him was more then enough to behold. 
  • So the question must be asked: What are you beholding 
  • Are you beholding the God of Covenants or are you beholding something else? Please don’t behold the wrong things… 
  • Let me tell you the number one thing I see happen in the church… the number one thing people behold instead of the beholding the God of Covenants… they behold others… 
  • You see when you compare yourself to others you are beholding others. 
  • People think “If I was only as holy as the pastor then…” 
  • Then what? What on earth am I doing between you and God? 
  • You should be beholding what God has promised you, what Covenants God has given you… why are you worried about me? 
  • Well how come she has such a better relationship with God then me? 
  • I don’t know, maybe because you are spending all of your time looking at her whiles he is spending his time looking at God. 
  • I will never have as good of a relationship with God as him… 
  • What? Why are you beholding HIM? Did God not make a covenant with YOU?! Did Jesus not die for YOU? Is God’s law not written on YOUR heart? 
  • Please church, don’t behold the wrong things…. 
  • You see when you live a life of comparison you are beholding others instead of beholding the God of Covenants. 
  • When you live a life of sin you are beholding pleasure or addiction instead of beholding the God of Covenants. 
  • Listen… this is a big one I have seen effect this church: When you live a life of anxiety you are beholding your circumstances instead of beholding the God of Covenants. 

Philippians 4:8 NKJV  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

  • Meditate on these things, focus on these things, behold these things… 
  • Not the things of this world… not the pleasures of this life… not the religion of others… 
  • Behold the God of Covenants… the God who comes down and gives everything up so that He can have a relationship with you. 
  • Now we know the five major Biblical covenants… but there are many promises, many covenants, many prophecies worth beholding… and I wonder, saints, has God made covenant with you? Has He given you promises? If so, don’t behold the wrong thing, behold those promises. 
  • For example… God promised Amanda through a prophecy early on that she would always be provided for… God made covenant with Amanda, that she would never go without. 
  • And I married into that covenant! So whenever money get’s tight, I behold that promise, I focus on that promise. And my anxieties fade away. 
  • It was prophesied over this church many years ago that there would be times when there does not seem to be enough money, the bank account will near 0… but Got will always make a way for financial provision… AND… as long as God is making a way for financial provision then we know that Amanda and I are supposed to stay in this church. 
  • So when I wonder if I should call it quits, move on, move back to Seattle with my tail between my legs… I remember that promise from God, that covenant… I spend time beholding it… and then I man up and get back to work. 

2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV  For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 

  • I wonder, have you ever been prophesied to? Has God ever made a promise to you, a covenant with you, through a known and tested prophet? 
  • If not, we can fix that, come to church Wednesday the 24th. Tested and known prophet, and a personal friend of mine, Justin Jeffries, from the International House of Prayer, will be joining us to prophetically lead a worship and prophesy night. Come expecting a word from God… 
  • But if you have received promises from God through prophecy… have you beheld them? You know what makes it easy to behold something… if you can see it… now follow me here… how can you see a prophecy? YOU WRITE IT DOWN. 
  • Some of y’all have to set 4 alarms to wake up in the morning… 
  • If you are like me, when there is an important event you make 3 calendar entries… one for the event and two for the two days preceding the event so you don’t miss the event. 
  • Some of y’all have been using the same password on your computer since the 90’s yet you still have to keep it written down and hidden under your keyboard. 
  • And yet a prophet comes into town and gives you a promise from the lord… a personal covenant… and you have forgotten it by the time you are done with your third trip to the buffet at Pizza Ranch that afternoon. 
  • Such things ought not to be so my brothers! 

Psalms 103:1-2 NKJV  A Psalm Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  (2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 

Psalms 103:17-18 NKJV  But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,  (18)  To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. 

  • You see God has not forgotten the promises He gave you… but when you behold the wrong things it is far to easy for you to forget those covenants… 
  • It is why David reminds his soul… Hey Soul! Don’t forget to bless God! Don’t forget all the good He has done for you… then verse 18… Don’t forget His covenants… keep His covenants and God will BLESS YOU soul… God will be merciful to you… to you and your offspring! DON’T FORGET THOSE COVENANTS SOUL. DON’T BEHOLD THE WRONG THINGS! 
  • So this morning, take time to behold the promises of God. 
  • As you go home, talk to your wife about what God has promised you, talk to your husband. 
  • Tell your kids about those promises… talk about the 5 major Covenants of God… talk about the New Covenant in particular… tell your family about the prophecies you have received. 
  • Write it down, make it visible, make it plain… 
  • So when you are tempted to behold the wrong things… you can gaze apon the promises of God and have faith… knowing that He who promises is faithful… 

Hebrews 10:23 NKJV  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 

  • Behold the fact that God would make a covenant with YOU and that fact should be BREATHTAKING… 
  • God’s covenants should be more breathtaking than any exotic locale you could possibly explore while on vacation. 
  • God’s covenants should be more impressive than Caitlyn Clarks records… 
  • God’s covenants should be more awe inspiring than any politicians charisma. 
  • God’s covenants should bring more peace inducing than a full bank account. 
  • God’s covenants are worthy to be beheld… so much more than these other things… don’t behold the wrong things. 
  • Yet I preach this and I know many will continue living life beholding sports, or jobs, or vacations, or finances… 
  • But please don’t… don’t behold the wrong things… they simply distract… 
  • And I am not even talking about sinful things… 
  • OBVIOUSLY DON’T BEHOLD SIN… we know how that turned out for Adam and Eve… when Eve beheld the forbidden fruit… when she gazed at it before partaking in it… 
  • Yeah, don’t do that either. 
  • But the none-sinful things… it is ok to enjoy sports and vacations. It is ok to be involved in politics. It is ok to have sound finances. 
  • But don’t behold these things. 
  • Sports teams will fail you… money will lose it’s value… politicians will break their promises… 
  • But GOD never fails, He never breaks a promise… and His covenants are far more valuable than money, and more beautiful than even the most exotic locales… 
  • Don’t behold the wrong things church…  


  • So let me wrap this thing up… 
  • God tells us to Behold that He is making a covenant. 
  • Thus our first point this morning was that the Covenants of God are worth beholding. 
  • Second, we will all behold things in our lives… let’s make sure we are not beholding the wrong things… 
  • Now let’s end with the Gospel, on which the New Covenant Hangs… 

Join us this Sunday at either 8:30AM or 10:30AM for worship followed by this message from the Word of God. Christian Life Church of Cedar Rapids. 2808 Schaeffer DR SW, Cedar Rapids, IA   52404. 


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